tv [untitled] May 10, 2012 4:30pm-5:00pm EDT
partisanship to washington. he and i share many positions, but his embrace of an unrelenting partisan mind-set is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for hoosiers in the senate. >> well, my reaction to that is obviously it's based on what a campaign theme of ours was. which is that we have a lot of failures in washington right now. and for all of the cries for let's have bipartisanship, let's not forget that bipartisanship as we've had it over the last number of years has taken us to the brink of bankruptcy. we don't need bipartisanship as much as we need the principle that says we live within our means. when it comes to negotiating to getting things done with the other side, i can certainly do that. but we need to stand on those principles that say, as i mentioned a moment ago, we live within our means. to your first question, why did we win this election, i think in large part, it's because hoosiers right now are incredibly proud of their state. i've heard democrats and they
identify themselves as democrats, come up to me and say, you know, i am so proud of indiana, because through this entire financial meltdown since 2008, there have only been two states that have kept their heads above water fiscally, and indiana is one of the two. we've actually cut spending back. we've reduced the size of government. our credit rating has gone up while the nation's has gone down. and people here in indiana want to see that kind of leadership in washington, and they know to get it, we have to have people who are going to stand on those kind of rock-solid principles, and they know i will. >> now, mr. mourdock, you sued the federal government regarding its bailout of the auto companies. is that a correct statement? >> let me set it up a little more correctly, if i may. as state treasurer of indiana, i represent indiana state police pensioners, as a trustee for their pension fund. they own the secureded debt of chrysler corporation back in 2008. when the federal government organized the bankruptcy of
chrysler in may, ultimately, of 2009, all of the rules of secured creditors, all of that law, the bankruptcy law that had been in existence since the since congress of the united states, was thrown out the window. and as a result, our secured creditors, it happened to be not just teachers, but -- i'm sorry, not just police officers, but retired teachers here in indiana, had their property ripped away from them. in an unprecedented way. and in that case, i did file a lawsuit. we went to the united states supreme court, first time they failed to take the case, the second time we went back, they ultimately ruled in our favor by vacating the earlier court's decision. >> is the auto bailout of 2010 different than when chrysler got bailed out and dick lukerr luge was part of the 1978 bailout, i think it was in 1978, was that a different situation? >> yeah, it was a totally different situation in the financial structure of the deal. there the united states government stepped in to offer loan guarantees. in this case, in the chrysler and ultimately the gm case, as
well, although indiana was not involved in the gm bankruptcy, it was a totally different deal. because secured creditors, and not to go too much in the weeds, but if it sounds like it's complex finance, it's not. if you're a secured creditor, it simply means you've loaned money to a business, and they've guaranteed you, in the event of a bankruptcy, you will be the first in line to get your money back. the other types of creditors are called nonsecured creditors, and they have no guarantee they'll ever get any moneys back. but if every secured creditor is paid back 100 cents on the dollar, whatever money is left over, then goes to nonsecureds. well, in the case of chrysler, by all accounts, there were adequate securities, adequate resources, adequate value in a normal bankruptcy to pay the secured creditors back 100 cents on the dollar. but the government decided that's not what they wanted to do. and so they turned the rules up you side down, arbitrarily, to say that secured creditors were going to the bottom of the pile, and then they hand-selected
nonsecured creditors, put them at the top, most notably the united auto workers, who suddenly got better value than the secureded creditors. it was wrong. government's role should never be to pick winners and losers. just today, walking here, i was listening that hostess company -- the hostess twinkees people are in bankruptcy. is the government going to rush forward and bail them out? no. what's the difference? why is the government picking winners and losers. >> richard mourdock, two-term state treasurer of indiana, former county official down in vander burn county in the southern part of the state. mr. mourdock, you ran for office prior to be elected county commissioner, correct? >> i did, indeed. >> and what was the situation? >> i ran for congress in the eighth congressional district, as it's known in national politics, the bloody eighth district of indiana, ran in 1988 in the primary and lost. i was the nominee in 1990 and lost. came back, ran again in 1992 and
received 49% of the vote. obviously lost. was urged to run again in 1994, and i showed my political genius by saying i don't think 94 is going to be a good year for republicans. of course that became the year the republican revolution. but that was the year i was elected county commissioner, as you mentioned. and i served two terms there. >> have you had a conversation with senator luger since the election? >> no, i have not. i spoke with him the saturday before the election. we were at a joint appearance. and we had a moment at the end of that event, and i said to him, senator, i've said it hundreds of times, and i've never meant it more sincerely than at this moment. i have great respect for you, and no matter what happens tuesday night, that will continue to be the case. senator luger is a great man. this city that i am sitting in, indianapolis, many describe it as america's most nearly perfect city. it was put out, of course, to be modernized, because mayor dick luger. he was elected to the senate in 1976.
he was a great united states senator. he's a great hoosier, a great american. he's been known as an international statesman. i have nothing but respect for mr. luger. and to be real honest, maybe it's because i have lost those elections i spoke of a moment ago, but i have such empathy for him today. i have not lost a race as an incumbent. but i can only imagine the sense of frustration he has after serving the people of indiana for 36 years to lose the way he did on tuesday night. so my thoughts are with him. he is a good man, and i hope we might talk soon, and i would certainly appreciate his support if he chooses to give it. >> well, let's take some calls. we're going to begin with a call from indianapolis. peter on our republican line. hi, peter. >> caller: yeah, hi. what's going on with what you were saying earlier -- i know that senator luger -- you guys were going over, had some pretty harsh things to say about you. and i know that he wasn't at the unity press conference that you guys gave earlier. but are plans for an endorsement and do you plan to speak to him soon? >> well, traditionally, in this situation, obviously, the person
who was not successful calls the one who was. and it's -- an etiquette that frankly, i don't want to break for fear that if i give that call it's going to be kind of the "i told you so." and i don't mean it that way at all. i would not put the senator in that position. would i certainly welcome his support. but, again, we're moving forward. and governor daniels was very kind to pull that conference together yesterday, and as i think our state chairman, eric hole come said at the news conference, the moment was meant to be richard's moment, meaning this richard, with all of our fellow statewide elected officials, and it was very kind of the governor to step out behind us very quickly. again, mr. luger, if he chooses to give us a call, we're certainly going to take that call. i would be delighted to sit down and talk with him to learn more, especially given his written release that was quoted here earlier this morning. >> shepard bill, louisiana, steven on our democrats' line.
go ahead with your question or comment or richard mourdock. steven? >> caller: hello? >> please go ahead. you're on the air. >> caller: i'm from shelbyville, indiana. >> i apologize. >> caller: indiana, if i'm not mistaken, has closed financial books. you watch channel 8, i understand they oh -- are revealing many thousands -- if not millions of dollars. but my question really is, how can you help fix, and do you believe in social security and welfare. and that's my question. >> okay. in reverse order. do i believe in social security? absolutely. the situation we have with social security and medicare, obviously, with all that's going on in the federal government, there need to be fixes applied, and very quickly. i happen to be one who agrees with something congressman paul ryan has put forward in his budget plan that says there was a fundamental social contract that we have today with our citizens. i think anyone who is over the age of 55, who spent their
entire working life understanding what the rules were for social security, for medicare, those promises that have been made have to be kept, every penny. however, i think, too, because we have to face the fiscal realities that exist in the future, we have to start telling people who are between the age of 50 and 55 and 45 and 50 and 40 and 45 today that there is going to be a different set of rules. and we also need to give them a different set of incentives to invest and save for themselves for both health care and social security. i don't think there's anything more immoral than making promises you know you can't keep. and unfortunately, that's what we're doing today, especially with social security for younger americans. to your question on welfare, you know, i am certainly one who believes there needs, again, to be welfare reform. when i was a county commissioner, as odd as it may sound, i actually crafted to our county commission a unique welfare to work project that used money from a local casino operation to fund, to help people who were willing to help themselves, who were willing to
get job training or even those who had what we call circumstantial disruptions in their life, we made funding available for them, and it was limited in time, limited in this the amount of money. and it was basically something that they could use as they needed it. but, again, it was limited. and i think that's what welfare should be. it shouldn't be the perpetual lifestyle that all too often it's become. to your comment on the books of indiana. you know, the books of indiana, the public records of indiana, are just that. they are public. the auditor has opened through a new website transparency of indiana. and it's something that i would encourage you to check out. because our books are out there, there is the annual report, the comprehensive annual financial report of the state of indiana. and we're always glad to help the public find those. and thank you for the question. >> ben is an independent in hot springs, arkansas. ben, please go ahead. you're on "the washington journal." >> caller: thank you so much. kudos to c-span. we were talking about the bailout a moment ago. i think another thing that can be considered is if my
recollection is correct, chrysler was manufacturing m-1 tank engines, and there was a national defense issue there involved that played into that. but my main question -- my question to you today has to do with the relationship between the federal government and the state government. let's use the earlier example about the gay marriages. it's my belief that it is emphatically the province of the state to deal with issues like gay marriage, abortion, gun control, and that the federal government has very little, if anything to do with these issues. and i think there's a great deal of fuzzy logic being utilized these days. sometimes purposefully, and is sometimes out of ignorance. phrases like due process, equal protection, separation of church and state are thrown around willy-nilly. and i don't mean to say that i'm someone who knows everything. but i think there are a lot of people, a lot of citizens who
have failed to educate themselves as to what these things really mean. mr. mourdock? >> well, to the question -- to the statement you don't think you know everything, believe me, i don't either. the last 24 hours i've been asking myself how does a geologist end up as a candidate for the united states senate? but not being a lawyer, and to your point, i am one of those people who, no, i'm not a lawyer, i've read the constitution many times. and i understand from reading that and from reading the federalist papers, that we were originally designed to have a relatively weak federal government and stronger state governments. the several points you made on abortion, gay rights, gun rights, et cetera, being more the state issues, that is, as i said in the opening question, why i find this issue so interesting. the gay marriage issue with the states preemptively acting, as i don't recall they've ever done in american history before. i think saying that this is an awakening at the state level for
a need to get back to the more federalist principles of the weaker federal government and the stronger state government. i think historyions are going to look back at this time in another 150 years and note what's been happening these last few years. because as our federal government has grown larger and larger and auto all be it more powerful and powerful, it's sucking up more resource that is are ultimately slowing down if not killing our economy. and i don't know that our founding fathers ever envisioned the national economy that we have in the sense that so much of our revenues will be going to washington, but they designed a federalist system so there could be prosperity at the local levels, knowing that it wasn't going to be a product of what happened at the federal government. and today we have so much federal government, seemingly feeling it is its duty, destiny, to hire people, to guarantee jobs, and to utilize resources so that it can distribute them as it sees fit. i think it goes against our historical background, and i think we are on the cusp of seeing something that is going to be historical over the next few years. >> mr. mourdock, is there anyone
in the senate that you admire the most? >> absolutely. and there are several of them. but i certainly am a fan of senator jim demint, someone i appreciate. happens to be the young member of the united states senate, senator mike lee from utah. when we first met, i'll tell you anecdotally, i was meeting with his chief of staff, and the senator walked in, stuck out his hand, didn't say, hi, my name is mike lee, didn't say how are things in indiana, didn't say what's going on in your campaign, his first words were, what do the words promote welfare mean to you. i didn't realize he was -- we were talking about the various sections of the constitution. though he's the youngest member, should i be successful, i think he may be my mentor. >> and "the washington times" this morning, large op-ed by senator rand paul. tea party wins in indiana.
now, we have this e-mail from illinois man. you have stated that compromising is making the democrats agree to republican policy and nothing less. more gridlock will result because of the closure rules are enacted by the opposition. 60 votes will be needed for passage. your thoughts. >> well, again, the comments i've made many times about bipartisanship. you know, let's start with this recent bit of history. when the obama care bill was passed, i don't remember -- i don't remember any conversations about bipartisanship. in fact, not a single republican voted for it in the house or the senate, because they had the votes, the democrats did, and they were going to jam it through and ram it through. every time since when we hear about bipartisanship, it's about the need for the democrats to bring a few republicans over to their side to get something done. what i said many times is, to me, the highlight of being in this business, this crazy business of politics, is the opportunities i have to sit in front of a camera or even better, standing at a microphone
in front of an audience and inflicting my opinion upon them with the idea that i might change their way of thinking. you know, i am a conservative. i believe in limited government. and i frankly -- i'm more frustrated with republicans right now than i am with democrats. because even the republicans who will vote the right way in washington, who will make those conservative votes, aren't coming back to their homes, are not coming back to their districts, are not coming back to their states. more importantly, they're not getting in front of the unfriendly crowds, in the unfriendly microphones, to make the argument, why their vote was the right vote. why limited government is a good thing. why the path to prosperity comes by rolling back government, not making it bigger. i want to be not only on the campaign trail, but as a united states senator, putting out that message so republicans who think like i think can become the majority and then i'll be happy to have bipartisanship when the democrats come to join us, just as they now expect us to join them. >> mr. mourdock has an
undergraduate degree from defiance college and a masters degree from ball state university in muncie, indiana. what's your masters in, mr. mourdock? >> in geology. i actually spent 31 years in the private sector. i've only ever been a full time government employee for six years. and that's during my time as state treasurer. worked in the energy business, and it's an unusual background, as i said a few moments ago. my head has been spinning a bit to think that someone who worked in the private sector 31 years, chasing drill rigs around as a young geologist would ever be in this wonderful position. and it's still kind of shocking. only in america. >> how much did you spend in the primary? >> i haven't seen the final figures. i'm going to guess probably about $2.6 million. we were probably outspent in total three to one. both those numbers are exclusive of what might have been put in the race from the so-called independent expenditure campaigns. i'll tell you this. if there was a moral from this lesson, or from this race, if it i may, peter, and i haven't seen
the rand paul article you referenced, i was many times called the tea party candidate. and i know certainly the democrats are already trying to label me as this right wing extremist. but the day i announced in february of 2011 on that day, i released a list of three quarters of indiana's republican county chairmen who signed on to support me. i released a list of over half the members of the state committee who signed in to support me on day one. after that, the tea parties came on board, and they were a tremendous source of volunteers. the real lesson of what happened here on tuesday with an overwhelming victory, 61-39%, against a 36-year incumbent, is that when people get motivated, when they fet get energized, when they are committed to work for a candidate, they can make all the difference in the world. it was an unbelievable thing. we had identified 1,300 critical republican precincts that we wanted to make sure we had someone attending during primary
day. and every one of those precincts for all 12 hours had at least one person there. the numbers from last night as we were totalling them up, it looks like we had 18,000 man-hours worked, just on election day on our behalf. it was an incredible thing. >> and mr. mourdock's opponent this fall will be representative joe donnelly, a democrat from indiana. he represents the south bend area of indiana. and we -- the "washington journal" has invited congressman donnelly to appear on this program, as well. pompano beach, florida. scott. >> caller: good morning. my question to you -- i've been in the army eight years, discharged. and i just happened to -- a guy robbed me. ended up with -- [ inaudible ] now with me being a felon, my
question is, how would you -- do you have a situation to where, you know, know -- how could he handle that situation to where, you know, it just seem like i'm being stereotyped. they don't have no idea that i'm honorably discharged soldier. but on the other hand i can understand that people do ruthless crimes and stuff. >> let's see if there's anything that mr. mourdock wants to respond to. >> first, scott, thank you for your service. i obviously don't know the details of the case you're talking about, but i urge you to talk to the folks with either the local civil rights, if you think it's that type of stereotype, or get good legal counsel.
we appreciate your you deserve. >> mile an hour rees, what three vital policy matters do you share with the administration that can be nurtured to positively improve our society? >> i'm going to be stressed to go -- they've done a much better job even in the bush administration, than in opening up better area of negotiation for the economic ties we have in southeast asia. the emphasis they've put on asian trade i think is a good, healthy thing. so we need to be looking to make sure we have those doors open for us. obviously with what's happening in china, india, vietnam even, there's going to be more and more trade from the united states over there and they deserve kudos from that. >> osage beach, missouri.
>> caller: good morning. you mentioned hostess filing for bankruptcy. the last year the top eight executes give themselves 80% raises. this year they're filing for bankruptcy and trying to take over 75% of the pensions away from its workers. i would like to hear your opinion on that sir, have a good day i'll hang up and listen to it. >> thank you for the question and my comment regarding hostess was the simple fact that i was making the parallel between the chrysler workers, the line workers who were losing their jobs and they were getting protection from the government and now in the hostess case, those people haves lives too and they're not getting the so-called protection and benefit from government that was afforded in the chrysler case. there has been this disparity over the last 20 years, really, where we've seen in public companies a lot of executives getting raises and bonuses and such that are way over the top
and i don't think it's appropriate. i'm a strong believer in something called employee-stock ownership programs. i wouldn't be sitting here today if i had not personally been a member of a esop. where the employees end up owning the company. as someone who is greatly concerned about the direction of american competitiveness, you know, i hope in the united states senate to be the leading advocate to have more employee-owned businesses in this country. because when the employees own the stock, they would make sure that the very types of abuse that you just talked about don't happen. is there a risk for employees who own a business? of course there is. just as there's a risk in investing any single business. but we have to find a way to encourage entrepreneurship in america. we have to have americans think of the american dream, to own their own business. it doesn't mean they have to be experts in every knowledge of business management, but it
means they get to benefit in the long term from the investment of their own labor. that is a wonderful concepts. when espos were first formed, it was one of those unique areas where there was total bipartisanship. because the republicans were honest enough back then to say that social security was going to have trouble meeting its obligations and this would be a way for people to save for themselves and democrats were willing to say let's look out for the interest of the working men and women here. i hope to be a true advocate for esops. it causes every american to have skin in the game where they work. and that's a great thing. >> george from orlando, florida e-mails in. as a republican you want less government but you want to stop gay marriage. isn't that more government interfering in the personal lives of americans? it's none of the government's business who gets married to
whom. >> as i said at the outset, i think that's an issue where the states get to decide. as i mentioned i personally think and i heard the president use those terms yet, i personally think, i personally think it should be between a man and a woman. but i understand people can disagree with that point of view. >> jeremy is a republican. >> caller: good morning. good luck with your campaign, thanks for the information about chrysler. i've got one comment and a question. the comment relates to the same sex marriage. if you want good information about why same sex marriage has problems, i suggest you look up helen alvery. and my comment relates to what is the state's interest in marriage and generally the state has an interest in promoting in
the society things that are good for society. and this is mrs. alvery alvery has good information about conclusive -- >> we are so running out of time and we're going to have your leave your comment stand there and take this last call from julie in minnesota. >> caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. pertaining to social security reform, how -- i'm 54. how does this fundamental social contract apply to me? and also i have heard that paul ryan, through albeit the fortunate circumstances has already received his social security benefits. so i want mine. >> well, i have no idea or comment on your reference to mr. ryan there as far as what he may or may not have received. but the point is that we have to
quit making promises we cannot keep. and at some point when a law passes, there will be a date, i think in the near future, that there's going to be some fundamental reform. and i think the only way to be as far as possible, and i realize that's not the same thing as being fair, but unfortunately there are many parts of life that are not fully fair, that we have to be able to say to groups above the age of 55, you've worked your whole life, that is the contract. by the time -- take heart here if what i suggested ever happens i'm sure you'll be 55 by then, it's going to have to come that we tell people honestly what they can expect from government. and the sad part is right now we're not doing that. we are sitting on a time bomb and that fuse by the way is interest rates. and that number doesn't include those monies that are owed to social security recipients in the future. that's totally separate from that. if we are ever hoping to meet the obligations of our national debt and of social security, we
have to get the economy growing again. we cannot cut our way out of this big problem. we cannot tax our way out of it. there's simply not enough money being generated. we have to grow our way out of it by getting an annual growth rate of at lease 3.5 to 4% a year. i believe the glass is half full. i wouldn't be doing this if i had the thinking that somehow i was getting aboard a ship that was getting ready to go down of the we need to rebuild america and i want to be part of that. >> mr. mourdock, one of the criticisms that snar lugar exand on was all the outside of indiana money that was coming into your campaign. >> he did make the point that there was special interest money coming from outside the state. i agree there was a special group, they're called conservatives. they're the people who would express the very things that i've spoken of, that we want to
see government reduced. they are concerned about the future of this country, vis-a-vis the economic issues. we've got to turn things around. we've got to quit kicking the can down the road. it's a beautiful thing to be 60 years old to run for office and to know if i'm successful enough to win that i get to make decisions that a lot of americans doen want to make, that senators and congressmen don't want to make. but they have to be made. there are going to be rough days ahead for us regardless of what we do. if we start to scale back government, some will see that as difficult. if we don't scale back government, the economic decline will be even harder. so we have some choices to make and i'm ready to do it. >> richard mourdock is the republican nominee for u.s. senate in indiana. he defeated richard lugar on tuesday. thank you for being on the washington journal, sir. >> furthermore i remine optimistic about the future of indiana and the united states of